Eat Your Makeup

By Brittanie Shey

Lunar Phases as Routine, not Ritual

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Lunar Phases as Routine, not Ritual
By Brittanie Shey • Issue #1 • View online
Welcome to the revamped / relaunched version of Eat Your Makeup, a newsletter about creativity, art and culture on the Third Coast.

Photo by Çağlar Oskay on Unsplash
Photo by Çağlar Oskay on Unsplash
It’s the beginning of March, today is a new moon, and I am going through some transitions in my own life, so it’s a good time to talk about the lunar cycle and how it can influence creativity. (ETA: It’s also the start of Lent!)
Before we get started, a disclaimer: I am a fairly grounded person, but I skew slightly towards the woo. I sometimes think that omens are real, that our bodies are smarter than our brains, and that there are forces in the world that are beyond our control or understanding. Philosophically, I’m Hamlet. I own more than one deck of tarot cards, and I live up to the stereotype of a Taurus — stubborn, earthy, an eye for luxurious goods. I enjoy these concepts, but that doesn’t mean I wholeheartedly believe in them
So maybe the zodiac isn’t real — maybe the stars that happened to be in the sky at the date and time you were born don’t have any effect on your demeanor or constitution.
But we do know that events like moon phases can have an effect on earthly happenings, specifically the tides, and that solar flares can affect electrical grids. Just last month, a minor geomagnetic storm was responsible for the failure and destruction of 40 of 49 SpaceX satellites (lol).
So if heavenly bodies can affect things like water and power, why can’t they have an effect on us as well?
For eons, people have used the waxing and waning of the moon as a planning tool. It was used to mark the passage of time, to maintain agricultural schedules, for religious ceremonies, and more.
The general thinking is that when the moon is new, or waxing — the first two weeks of a typically 28-ish day cycle — that is a time for growth, creation, expansion, and learning. The second half of the cycle, from the full moon through waning, is a time for contraction, introspection, quieting, and culling.
I first started following the lunar cycle when I was dabbling in ashtanga yoga. In that practice and many others, it is believed that the moon can have an effect on people — much like the tides — due to the body’s high water content. In ashtanga, full and new moon days are taken as days of rest, and in other yoga lineages, full moon days are used for more inward practices like yin, versus active practices like power yoga.
Then I was in a writing group with a person who used the moon cycles for her editing schedule. For the two weeks during the new and waxing moon, she would write new material. During the two weeks of the full and waning moon, she would edit old material. This gave her a mental break from writing all the time or editing all the time, and also created a sense of structure. And sometimes structure — not rituals — are what people really need.
It’s not a coincidence that I have decided to restart this newsletter on a new moon day. For a while I even considered publishing exclusively on new and full moons But for now, I will leave the 2022 lunar schedule below for your own usage.
I encourage you, during this new moon phase, to start thinking of ways to celebrate the upcoming spring, a season of growth and change. Maybe bring home a houseplant, or start a new journal, or download Duolingo and finally begin learning Spanish. I’d love to hear what you’re working on, and what you’d like to read more of from me.
2022 Moon Days (Central Time)
  • January 2 — New Moon
  • January 17 — Full Moon
  • January 31 — New Moon
  • February 16 — Full Moon
  • March 2 — New Moon
  • March 18 — Full Moon
  • April 1 — New Moon
  • April 16 — Full Moon
  • April 30 — New Moon
  • May 15 — Full Moon
  • May 30 — New Moon
  • June 14 — Full Moon
  • June 28 — New Moon
  • July 13 — Full Moon
  • July 28 — New Moon
  • August 11 — Full Moon
  • August 27 —New Moon
  • September 10 — Full Moon
  • September 25 — New Moon
  • October 09 — Full Moon
  • October 25 — New Moon
  • November 08 — Full Moon
  • November 23 — New Moon
  • December 07 — Full Moon
  • December 23 — New Moon
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Brittanie Shey

"Eat Your Makeup" is a 1968 short film by John Waters. This newsletter is a weekly musing about creativity, art and culture on the Third Coast.

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